From West Africa to West Texas

Assistant Professor Comfort Pratt has a love for the university and a deep appreciation for her eager students.

Written by Mattie Steger

Giving back to the people who helped Pratt to the top is  her utmost priority.</

Giving back to the people who helped Pratt to the top is her utmost priority.

Her desk was neatly in order and her smile radiated from across the room as she told one of her foreign exchange students goodbye for the day in perfectly spoken Spanish. The plaques and awards that adorned her office walls seemed to be endless.

Comfort Pratt is an assistant professor of Bilingual Education and Diversity Studies and Secondary Education.

She was born and raised in West Africa where she received her undergraduate degree in French; and despite missing her family back home, she described Lubbock as an easy place to live.

“The people that live in Lubbock are very warm – that’s how I like to describe them,” Pratt said. “But the best part about Lubbock is Texas Tech.”

She said she loves everything about the university, especially the students, and not just because of their personality.

“The students here are really nice and are very eager to learn,” she said. “That is why I always have my door open; I love having students come and visit me.”

Foreign Affairs

Pratt’s ability to speak fluent Spanish, French and English gave her the opportunity to work as the secretary to the Spanish ambassador in Ghana and then to the Nigerian ambassador in Spain.

Because her dad taught her to type on a typewriter at such an early age, she said she was able to transcribe meetings, interpret and translate anything.

Pratt learned the diplomatic core very well and loved to see how the different countries supported and related to each other. It’s a beautiful diplomatic world, she said.

“I learned how to represent my country well,” said Pratt. “There is a way of being diplomatic about things that creates healthy relationships with others.”

After working in Ghana and in Spain, she wanted to work in the United Nations, but realized she had a passion and a gift to teach.

Giving Back

My sister always told me I would grow up to be a teacher, she said.

“I would gather children together when I was little and teach them. Even if I did not know more than them I would teach them; anything I knew I would teach,” Pratt said.

She said she has always loved people who are not like her. She gravitates toward people who are from different places who do different things.

Pratt’s experience of playing on the Ghana National Team for hockey, tennis and volleyball made her the ideal match as a Nigerian student’s mentor. As a nominee for “best match,” Pratt said Mentor Tech is one of the best programs Texas Tech has to offer.

Not only does Pratt teach, she writes her own textbooks.

“I write a lot; and when I design a course and don’t find a book to suit it,” she said, “I write the book myself.”

Pratt said she is happy because she knows she is able to do more here in the U.S. for her family than she would be able to do back home. Giving back to the people who helped her to the top is her utmost priority.

Singing in the choir at the Methodist church, playing sports, and cooking are among Pratt’s list of favorite things to do.

“I love my work, and boy I’ve got a lot to show from it,” Pratt said. “But despite everything, I enjoy the simple things in life; and I value the beautiful relationships I’ve made around the world.”

 


College of Education

The College of Education at Texas Tech University offers a full range of programs, including 9 doctoral degrees, 10 master's degrees, two bachelor's degrees and numerous specializations which can lead to careers in public or private education as teachers, professors, administrators, counselors and diagnosticians.

Programs in the college are housed in three departments.

The Department of Curriculum & Instruction offers advanced degrees that prepare leaders, researchers, and professors with the knowledge, skills, and practical application experience needed to analyze, construct, and evaluate curricula in ways that create optimal learning conditions for all learners. Language and literacy, bilingual education and STEM education are just a few of the specializations offered by C&I.

The Department of Educational Psychology & Leadership consists of a diverse group of academic programs that equip students with a comprehensive knowledge of learning, motivation, development, and educational foundations. The disciplines of counseling and school psychology are housed within the EP&L department as are programs to prepare future college administrators, primary and secondary school and district leaders, as well as practical and academic educational psychologists.

The Department of Teacher Education focuses solely on teacher preparation, ensuring that teacher candidates are ready for the classroom on day one. The Teacher Education Department is home to TechTeach, an innovative teacher preparation program that puts teacher candidates into public school classrooms for a full year and requires that students pass teacher certification tests prior to entering the classroom. Various paths to teaching careers, including fast-track distance programs statewide and alternative certification options, are also housed in this department.

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